A Fertility Acronym Decoder for the 15 Terms You’ll Hear Most Often

Whether a specialist is explaining fertility processes and procedures that you may be experiencing or they’re using a quick abbreviation to describe a certain treatment, you’ll be able to decipher their words with certainty, helping you feel more comfortable along the way!

Here are the top phrases to learn:

1. ART

ART is short for Assisted Reproductive Technology. Basically, this term is used to explain the overall practice of fertility procedures that are deigned to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

2. IVF

IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilization. This is a common, more advanced fertility treatment option that fertilizes the female egg outside of the body. It is also the oldest and most frequently used ART procedure among hopeful couples.

3. hCG

Women undergoing fertility treatments will take a variety of medications to stimulate egg production, and hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is one of the main injectibles that are taken.

4. Beta

Beta refers to a type of pregnancy test that evaluates pregnancy hormone levels (hCG) within the blood work.


ICSI stands for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. This procedure works in addition to IVF treatments when fertilization is rendered unsuccessful. Essentially, a single sperm cell is directly injected into an egg to initiate pregnancy, rather than placing many sperm alongside an egg and waiting for one to take hold.

6. IUI

IUI is a fertility procedure known as a Intrauterine Insemination. When couples choose to have an IUI, sperm cells are directly transferred into the uterus to help improve the chances of pregnancy. In addition, the female partner takes oral or injectible medications to stimulate the ovaries.

7. COH

Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation (COH) refers to the process of administering various medications that help the female patient regulate her ovulation cycles with increased follicle development. In some cases, women have irregular cycles caused by several factors, such as age or hormonal imbalances, and COH alleviates this abnormality.


PCOS represents a commonly diagnosed condition in reproductive aged women called polcystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS is an endocrine disorder that affects hormones within the reproductive system, which leads to abnormal ovulation.

9. LAP

LAP or Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure used to diagnose infertility or treat fertility issues. For those undergoing an LAP, between one and three small incisions are made in the abdomen where a doctor uses a laparoscope to view organs.

10. LSC

Reserved for the male partner, LSC stands for low sperm count, a condition in which not enough sperm cells are successfully transferred through the semen to ensure impregnation.

11. PGD

PGD or Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis refers to the testing of a specific genetic disease that must be identified within an embryo. Doing this ensures that certain genetic diseases are not passed on and later developed.

12. PGS

PGS or Pre-implantation genetic screening refers to the testing of the overall chromosomal makeup of an embryo, rather than a specific genetic disease. Fertility specialists look to see that both the egg and sperm contributes 23 chromosomes to the embryo, resulting in a healthy 46. If that number is not reached, then the embryo has an increased chance of failure.

13. FE

FE stands for Frozen Embryo, which is an embryo that is properly stored after an IVF and can be used for an additional cycle if previous attempts are unsuccessful.

14. ENDO

ENDO is short of Endometriosis, a condition where a woman’s uterine lining (endometrium) forms on the outside of the uterus. It is typically a painful disorder that causes infertility in 30-50% of women it affects.

15. MF

MF signifies Male Factor Infertility, meaning that the cause of infertility for a hopeful couple comes from the male partner’s involvement (low sperm count, varicocele, infection, etc.)

Laurel Fertility Care Can Give You Answers

Remember, these are just a few of the main acronyms you’ll encounter on your journey to a healthy pregnancy. Use this quick guide as a reference for future appointments and questions that you may have, and if anything else comes up that you’re not sure of, always feel free to speak with your fertility specialist to learn more.

At Laurel Fertility Care, our team of experts are more than happy to share with you their knowledge of the field, and better yet, they can ease your concerns about any confusion that surfaces as a result of your treatments or procedures.

For more information about fertility related terminology, check out this helpful link. Once you’re ready to get started, give us a call to schedule a phone consultation.